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17 Essential Travel Hacking Tips For Your Next Trip

With many countries having returned to normalcy in the current post-COVID travel season, “revenge travel” has been going strong and it does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. According to a 2023 survey by Skyscanner, 77% intend to spend the same or more on trips abroad than they did in 2022, with 41% planning to spend more.


The surge in travel demand has also brought the prices of air tickets to an all-time high and the costs of travel have increased ever since the COVID period. So before booking your flights in a haste, you’ve got to make sure that you don’t burst your budget while getting everything you need for your vacation or business trip. Here are some quick money-saving hacks that may come in handy.

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Money-Saving Travel Hacks: Get The Cheapest Flights

Besides looking out for the best promotions on flight booking portals, there are many other ways to get the best deals.

Hack #1

Pick certain days and months to book your flight

Pick specific days and months to book your flight tickets to get the best rates. This will differ from region to region and country to country. For some parts of the world, domestic flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest, while it is more economical to fly on Wednesdays and Thursdays for international flights. Oh, and if you’re able to book your international flight about 4 to 10 months in advance, you’ll save quite a bit too.

Hack #2

Save on booking fees

Buying tickets in person can help you save on online booking fees, although it is of some hassle to drive to the airport, head down to your preferred airline's ticket counter to purchase your tickets from the representative.

Hack #3

Redeem air miles for free flights

Using your accumulated air miles earned from your credit card usage can help you to shave off some air travel expenses with free flights. You can find our round-up of the best air miles credit cards here. Check it out! 

Hack #4

Follow Telegram groups

Telegram groups like those by Trip.com SG will keep you updated with some of the latest deals for low-cost flights and even travel accommodation promotions. This will save you some research time.

Hack #5

Go for trips on off-peak seasons

By booking off-season flights, you’ll be able to get better airfare rates due to the lower demand. So avoid travelling in March, April, July, August, or December where the demand for travel is much higher.

Book Accommodations At The Best Price

Flash deals are not the only way to get value-for-money hotels or accommodations for your vacation or business trip, there are a few more tricks to snap up the hotel or accommodation that you want at better prices.

Use portals with no reservation and cancellation fees

Portals like Booking.com, Agoda and Expedia offer the benefit of no cancellation fee and no reservation fees as long as your cancellation of booking is made within a stipulated time period. Such fees do add up so it’s best to pick those that do without such fees.

Join WhatsApp groups

Some hotels have dedicated WhatsApp groups that will send you timely updates on the latest room packages and promotions such as PARKROYAL COLLECTION, Marina Bay, and Hotel Fort Canning.

Redeem credit card reward points for free stays

Utilise your accumulated reward points earned from your credit card usage to help you to shave off some travel expenses with free stays at your preferred hotel or accommodation.

Tap On Multi-Currency Accounts Or Digital Wallets

Multi-currency accounts or “MCA” like YouTrip, TransferWise and Revolut are essentially bank accounts that work like a digital wallet where you’re able to keep your currencies and transact them without incurring extra bank charges.

Hack #1

Save on conversion and overseas charges

An MCA helps you avoid any foreign exchange conversion fees when you withdraw, remit or receive foreign currency funds directly from another account.

Hack #2

Profit from small investments

MCA can be a tool for you to invest in foreign currencies while you travel, because you’ll be able to gain an advantage by holding a particular currency/currencies until it/they reach a “profitable” rate. You’ll be able to avoid exchange rate fluctuations which may affect earnings from your investments.

Hack #3

Earn interest or cash back

Most banks offer MCAs with ongoing or seasonal promotions that offer you a certain percentage of cashback with a minimum charge in foreign currency to a debit or credit card you have (that is linked to your MCA).

Buy Travel Insurance

In this post-COVID situation now, travel insurance is mostly not required to travel to many countries, however it is still strongly recommended. Having a travel insurance plan with adequate coverage will allow you claim for medical expenses overseas, so it’ll definitely prepare you better for such unexpected situations.

Hack #1: Consider annual travel insurance

If you’re going to be travelling more than three times each year, it’ll make more economical sense to get an annual travel insurance plan instead of a single trip plan as single-trip insurance for 3 or 4 overseas trips in a year may probably cost the same as or more than an unlimited number of trips on an annual insurance plan.

Hack #2: Enjoy complimentary travel insurance with credit cards

Many credit cards, especially those which offer the feature of air miles rewards, will often include complimentary travel insurance coverage that can be decent or even comprehensive enough for your trip. So check with your bank on your credit card benefits before getting a travel insurance plan.

Hack #3: Go for family or group travel insurance

Some travel insurers offer free coverage for up to 4 children in their range of travel insurance plans while most insurers provide much cheaper rates for family travel insurance plans as compared to buying separate individual plans for each family member travelling together.

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Pick Suitable Car Rental Options

Depending on where you’ll be driving to, renting a car during your vacation or business trip can either be cheaper or more expensive than taking public transport.

Hack #1: Get a travel insurance plan with car rental excess coverage

As most car rental companies have an excess or deductible in their policies, you wouldn’t need to fork out anything before the insurance kicks in.

Hack #2: Rent without the add-ons

You don’t really need the range of add-ons that are offered to you along with the basic car rental as there are many cheaper or free alternatives. For example, if you can download a map app that can work offline for free instead of having GPS add-on to your rental car.

Hack #3: Save on car fuel with credit cards

Check the benefits that your credit cards provide, some of them do offer discounts on fuels at selected petrol stations or you can even receive cashback on overseas spending including those spent on fuel abroad.

Best Credit Cards For Travelling

The welcome bonus air miles of 45,000 miles is pretty irresistible when you sign up for this Standard Chartered Journey credit card. Moreover, you can earn 3 miles for every S$1 spend on various categories including transportation, food delivery and online grocery merchants.


As a traveller, you’ll appreciate the 2 complimentary visits to Priority Pass lounges around the world each year, complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to S$500,000, and the flexibility of choosing between air miles, cash rewards or shopping vouchers for your reward points redemption.

With no minimum spend and a miles earn rate of either 1.2 miles per $1 for local spending, up to 4 miles per $1 for overseas spending, or up to 10 miles per $1 for online hotel bookings, the Citibank PremierMiles Card is a frequent flyer’s card that comes with many benefits.


These benefits include 2 free visits to Priority Pass lounges at over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide per year, complimentary travel insurance, and miles with no expiry. If you’re looking to renew your existing Citibank PremierMiles Card, you’ll be rewarded with a renewal bonus of 10,000 Citi Miles on your Card anniversary.

This card by DBS makes a great miles cum lounge access card that has a pretty high mile per dollar spend ratio. Besides getting up to 10 miles for every $1 spent on staycation bookings and 2 miles for every $1 spent overseas in foreign currency, you’ll be entitled to 2 complimentary visits each year to Priority Pass lounges worldwide.

Whether it’s an American Express Card or VISA Card that is under UOB PRVI, signing up for this card through MoneySmart will give you a chance to get up to 54,000 miles from UOB, and an additional 4,800 miles from UOB.


You’ll also be able to earn up to 6 miles for every $1 spent on selected online hotel and flight bookings, 2.4 miles for every $1 spent overseas and 1.4 miles for every $1 spent locally. Note that you’ll have to fulfil the minimum spend of S$1,000 for 2 consecutive months from your card approval date in order to enjoy the 54,000 miles giveaway.

This card is one of the few credit cards which entitles you to a generous welcome gift of 35,000 miles and unlimited access to over 1,100 airport lounges worldwide per year. You’ll also be able to share your free passes with your supplementary cardholders if you want – so you and your travel buddy can both use the lounge together.


The miles earn rate for this card is 2.25 miles for every $1 spent abroad and 1.25 miles for every $1 spent locally, plus you can enjoy complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to US$2,000,000 (annual value worth S$988).

With a pretty generous 20,000 air miles (equivalent to a round trip air ticket to Bali) giveaway, HSBC TravelOne Card offers you up to 2.4 miles (6X Reward points) for every $1 spent overseas, upon payment of an annual fee of S$194.40 and a minimum spend of S$800.


However, annual fee waiver benefits are available if you spend more than S$25,000 per year. There is no conversion fee when you redeem for air miles or hotel points for a wide range of airline and hotel bookings including Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Marriott Bonvoy and more.

With a pretty generous 20,000 air miles (equivalent to a round trip air ticket to Bali) giveaway, HSBC TravelOne Card offers you up to 2.4 miles (6X Reward points) for every $1 spent overseas, upon payment of an annual fee of S$194.40 and a minimum spend of S$800.


However, annual fee waiver benefits are available if you spend more than S$25,000 per year. There is no conversion fee when you redeem for air miles or hotel points for a wide range of airline and hotel bookings including Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Marriott Bonvoy and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I avoid booking fees when buying air tickets?

Buying tickets in person is one way to save on online booking fees, although it may be a hassle to drive to the airport, head down to your preferred airline's ticket counter to purchase your tickets from the representative.

Is there a way to receive instant notifications of flight and hotel booking deals?

Joining certain Telegram groups and WhatsApp groups by established and renowned travel portals and hotel brands can keep you updated with some of the latest deals for low-cost flights and even travel accommodation promotions.

Should I pick a single trip or annual travel insurance?

If you’re a frequent traveller or planning to go overseas more than three times each year, it’ll make more economical sense to get an annual travel insurance plan instead of a single trip plan as single-trip insurance for 3 or 4 overseas trips per year may cost the same as or more than an unlimited number of trips on an annual insurance plan.

How to avoid foreign currency exchange fees when travelling?

Getting a Multi-currency account or MCA helps you avoid any foreign exchange conversion fees when you withdraw, remit or receive foreign currency funds directly from another account.

Can I get waivers for credit card foreign transaction fees?

Yes, there are many credit cards that offer discounts or waivers of foreign transaction fees, but you’ll have to call in or email or log into your account with your credit card issuing bank to request for it.